Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Can a populist uprising be forged among those with XXXL 50-inch waists and wired into the 100-channel national nervous system?

Excerpt from Joe Bageant’s A Feral Dog Howls in Harvard Yard.

If there is one bright spot in the bleak absurdity of slogging along in our new totalist American state, it is that ordinary working Americans are undisciplined as hell. We are genuine moral and intellectual slobs whose consciousness is pretty much glued onto an armature of noise, sports, sex, sugar and saturated fats. Oh, we nod toward the government bullhorns of ideology, even throw beer cans and cheer when told we are winning some war or Olympic sports event. But when it comes right down to it, we could generally give a rat's ass about government institutions and are congenitally more skeptical of government than most nations, especially nations that get things like good teeth and free higher education for their tax dollars.

Surely, there are governmental facts of life no working American can escape, like the IRS, but no ordinary person is dumb enough to actually trust political parties, banks, the courts or the news media. Born with the organizational instincts and global awareness of a box turtle, we take the most torpid political path -- we call it all bullshit, pay lip service, vote occasionally, then forget about our government altogether until April 15th of the next year.

As inhabitants (you couldn't really call what we practice citizenship) of a nation that is essentially one big workhouse/shopping compound, American life is simultaneously both easy for us and rather dangerous to the rest of the world. For instance, when the corporate state's CBS-ABC-CBS-FOX-NBC-XYZ television bullhorns told us some warthog named Saddam Hussein blew up the World Trade Center and probably fixed the NFL ratings too, Tony the electrician said, "Well, OK then. Sure, go ahead and bomb the fucker." Then he flicked to the Home and Garden Channel, where the guy in the plaid shirt is explaining how to get a skylight installed without leaking. Thanks to American industrial molecular science, there's yet another new sticky stuff miracle from Dupont, a tube of which costs about as much as the entire friggin roof. After the obligatory Dupont public relations sponsored tour of the plant where the goo is cooked up, plaid shirt guy gives "application instructions," meaning he tells you how to squirt it out of the tube. And somewhere along the line, between the plant tour and watching the goo dry, Tony gave "informed consent" to the war in Iraq without even knowing it, or for that matter, giving a shit….

Finish reading “A Feral Dog Howls in Harvard Yard“ here.

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